Monday, August 18, 2014

Vote Deprivation and Liberalism

How many times have you read or heard this claim or a variation on it?

A single state in all of historic Palestine, dominated by Jews but in which Palestinians are deprived of the vote, might be Zionist but it certainly would not be liberal. 

Is it true?  Is it damning of Zionism and Israel? 

Well, there are other examples of problems.

Like...the United States.

Voting rights of citizens in the District of Columbia differ from the rights of citizens in each of the 50 U.S. states...As the U.S. capital, the District of Columbia is a special federal district, not a state, and therefore does not have voting representation in the Congress...In the United States House of Representatives, the District is represented by a delegate, who is not allowed to vote on the House floor but can vote on procedural matters and in congressional committees. D.C. residents have no representation in the United States Senate. As a result of the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1961, the District is entitled to three electoral votes in the election of the President of the United States.

Yes, Washington, DC has a population of just over 600,000.   But we're discussing the principle. It's almost the same situation in Puerto Rico:

Voting rights of United States citizens in Puerto Rico, like the voting rights of other United States territories, differ from those of United States citizens...Residents of Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories do not have voting representation in the United States Congress, and are not entitled to electoral votes for President. The United States Constitution grants congressional voting representation to U.S. states, which Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories are not...Puerto Rico is a territory under the sovereignty of the federal government, but is not part of any state. 

The island's population is 3,725,789 (2010 U.S. Census).

And if there is a form of autonomy?  And if Jordan is the political representative for the Arabs in Judea and Samaria?

The current Arab society in the administered territories is far from liberal.  Any connection with Israel, short-term or other, could only improve their orientation, as long as there is no violence.



Frank Bloom said...

This comparison doesn't hold up:

1. The voting restrictions in D.C. solely depend on residence and there is freedom of movement, so everyone can chose whether to live in the district or move elsewhere. There is no difference in status between a citizen living in Maryland and one living in D.C. except those based on residence.

2. Same for Puerto Rico. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and if they move the continental U.S. they are entitled to vote like everyone else. Furthermore there have been several referenda on independence or statehood in Puerto Rico. If Puerto Rico wanted to be independent or become a state, the national government would not block it.

YMedad said...


If the Arabs moved to Jordan they could once again (they were citizens until 1988) vote. Ah, would Jordan let them in? After all, it's all part of the same historic Palestine.

and if they stayed, an arrangement still could be made for them to vote for Jordan and they wouldn't have to move like your recommendagtion.

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